Also published on this date: Wednesday, May 29, 2013: Maximum Shelf: Cinnamon & Gunpowder

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Basic Books: What We Owe the Future by William Macaskill

Citadel Press: Tiny Buddha's Inner Strength Journal: Creative Prompts and Challenges to Help You Get Through Anything by Lori Deschene

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Baby-Changing Station by Rhett Miller, illustrated by Dan Santat

Candlewick Press (MA): The Patron Thief of Bread by Lindsay Eagar

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr): Don't Look Back: A Memoir of War, Survival, and My Journey from Sudan to America by Achut Deng and Keely Hutton

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: A Wilderness of Stars by Shea Ernshaw

Mandala Publishing: The Journey: Big Panda and Tiny Dragon by James Norbury

Simon & Schuster: Defend Banned Books


Bob Miller Creating New Division at Macmillan

Bob Miller is joining Macmillan, where he will launch a new, stand-alone company that specializes in nonfiction. The as-yet-unnamed company will publish about three books per month, starting in early 2015, and will report directly to Macmillan Trade CEO John Sargent. Miller will start with a small editorial staff in the beginning of July.

Miller was most recently group publisher of Workman Publishing, created HarperStudio at HarperCollins and founded Hyperion at Disney in 1990, where he worked for 18 years. Before that he was editorial director at Delacorte Press, a senior editor at Warner Books and fittingly began his career at Macmillan's St. Martin's Press, where he was an editorial assistant and editor.

"This business is all about the authors and the books," Sargent said. "Finding the right books at the right price is a tough job, and Bob has shown himself to be very good at it.  We're really thrilled to welcome him back to the Flatiron Building, and we're looking forward to many successes together in the years ahead."

Miller commented: "I couldn't be happier to return to my roots on 23rd Street, where I learned so many of the publishing values I've aspired to ever since. I'm very grateful to John and my Macmillan colleagues--new and old--for this chance to do what I love with such enthusiastic support."

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Before I Do by Sophie Cousens

BAM and Indigo: Missing Hunger Games, Fifty Shades of Grey

In the first quarter ended May 4, net sales at Books-A-Million fell 7.4%, to $104.5 million. The net loss was $3.7 million, compared to a net loss of $1.9 million in the same quarter last year. Sales at stores open at least a year fell 6.8%.

BAM CEO and president Terrance G. Finley commented: "Our first quarter results were slightly below our expectations as we confronted the strong headwinds from the success last year of the Hunger Game series and Fifty Shades of Grey. During the quarter we saw a continued slowdown in the growth of e-book sales, strong performance in the general merchandise categories and solid performance from"

In a conference call with analysts, Finley said (via Seeking Alpha) that because of the slowing pace of digital sales growth, "our physical book business continued to grow a bit more stable." Strong book categories included graphic novels, particularly the Walking Dead series, based on the hit AMC television series; diet and health; biography, which was driven by the success of the Duck Commander family, featured on the A&E television series Duck Dynasty; and children's, with strong sales in baby books, kids' fiction, kids' education and kids' activity.

Finley added that in the second quarter, BAM will "continue to face extraordinary headwinds in our core book business as we anniversary the phenomenal success of E. L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey." He called the publishing lineup "fairly modest" with the exception of Inferno by Dan Brown, "new fiction from Khaled Hosseini, Dean Koontz, Glenn Beck and Stephen King, as well as new nonfiction offerings in Joseph Ellis, H.W Brands, Chris Kyle and the legendary NBA coach, Phil Jackson."

During the quarter, BAM opened three superstores and a traditional store while closing seven superstores and one traditional store, leaving it with 253 stores.


In the fourth quarter, revenue at Indigo Books & Music fell 5.6%, to $185 million, and the net loss was $8.2 million compared to a net gain of $125 million in the same period a year earlier. Excluding discontinued operations, the company had a net loss of $10.7 million in the same period a year earlier.

Indigo stated that results paled "against the blockbuster Hunger Games trilogy in the fourth quarter last year" and said that the increase in earnings was due to "a 2.4% improvement in margin rate and lower operating and selling and administrative expenses due to the company's on-going focus on its Galileo productivity improvement initiative."

For the full year, revenues fell 4.4%, to $893 million, and net earnings were $4.3 million compared to a net loss of $27.8 million in the previous year. Indigo said the revenue decline was "primarily due to lower physical book and e-reader sales. Additionally, the company operated nine fewer small format stores." The revenue decline was partially offset by "double-digit growth in lifestyle, paper and toy sales and an increase in revenue from the Kobo revenue-sharing agreement due to the growth in digital reading."

At Indigo and Chapters superstores open at least a year revenue fell 4.6%, while revenue at Coles and IndigoSpirit small format stores fell 2.4%. Online sales grew 1%.

Disney-Hyperion: Drizzle, Dreams, and Lovestruck Things by Maya Prasad

Kobo: Sales Jump 98% in First Quarter

Kobo sales of devices and e-books rose 98% in its first quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago, the company said, and the number of users rose by 2.5 million, for a total of 14.5 million. Some 15% of new users are in the U.S.; Kobo customers are reading 34% more in the quarter.

"This is a massive $250-billion market and still in the early days of a 25-year transformation," Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis commented.

In other Kobo news, the company's eBookstore added 500,000 titles this year. The company now has indie bookstore partnerships with the American Booksellers Association, the Booksellers Association of the U.K. and Ireland and Booksellers New Zealand. Kobo plans to expand to India, China and Russia. Publisher estimates say Kobo represents 50% of digital sales in Canada and 20% in France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: All I Want for Christmas by Maggie Knox

Mystic Journey Bookstore Travels to New Location

Mystic Journey Bookstore, Venice, Calif., has moved to a larger location three blocks from its old location and officially reopens on Saturday, June 8, according to the Examiner. Besides books, Mystic Journey carries crystals, greeting cards, gongs, singing bowls, chimes and candles, and offers classes, readings and book signings.

The reopening celebrations include a meditation class, yoga, a harpist, a concert by Valerian and a blessing and talk by Marianne Williamson. The store will also offer food, raffles, giveaways and more.

Mystic Journey Bookstore is now at 1624 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, Calif. 90291.

Gibson's Bookstore Buys Imagination Village

Gibson's Bookstore, which is moving into a much larger, 10,000-square-foot space this summer in Concord, N.H., has bought the assets of Imagination Village, and its owner, Laura Miller, is joining the bookstore staff, where she will manage the "stock of educational toys, games and puzzles, and organize children's and family events," the Concord Monitor reported. The selection will include games and puzzles for adults.

"I'm still a bookstore purist," Gibson's owner Michael Herrmann told the paper. "I think, though, that what Laura does--what she's built--is a great complement for a bookstore, can really take a bookstore to the next level."

For her part, Miller said, "It just made sense from the beginning. I think the synergy between what we do with educational toys and games and puzzles and books... just fits into a very holistic kind of bookstore."

Memorial Service for David Poindexter

photo: Dorothy Carico Smith

In memory of David Poindexter, founder of MacAdam/Cage, who died Monday, April 29, a gathering of friends and compatriots with glasses raised will be held tomorrow, May 30, at 5 p.m. at Gino & Carlo, on Green St. at Grant Ave. in North Beach in San Francisco.

Some of us at BEA will also raise glasses to him.

Ingram and Courier in New Partnership

Ingram Content Group and Courier Corporation are working together to "offer an array of global content services for publisher clients," the companies said. Courier, the book manufacturer and owner of the Dover, REA and Creative Homeowner publishing operations, will use Ingram's POD and digital distribution services, and Ingram will use Courier's printing capabilities to streamline workflow and speed delivery to retailers and readers worldwide under its new Life Print program--a "one-stop service" for publishers and their manufacturing requirements.

Book Marketing Conference: Reaching Readers

"Reaching Readers" was the theme of Publishing Perspectives' 2013 book marketing conference, held yesterday in the auditorium at Scholastic's SoHo offices. In his keynote presentation, Jonah Berger, author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On, drew on examples from outside the publishing industry, like the brief success of Rebecca Black--who, he observed, continued to exhibit a periodic spike in YouTube searches every Friday even after the initial buzz had faded. If you can tap into people's desire to accumulate--and exploit--social currency, he proposed, you'd be well equipped to develop buzz in any medium. "I can't tell you if Pinterest will be around in five years," he warned the audience, "but I can tell you people will still be sharing."

Author Jonah Berger signs after his keynote.

It was a theme that others hit upon throughout the day. "[Social media] channels will come and go," said Nancy Martira, who's managed campaigns for brands like Frito-Lay and IKEA. "I try to focus on the actual conversations flowing through those channels." While Odyl CEO Neil Baptista advised that publishing houses should begin working with authors to promote a book in social media channels pretty much as soon as they've acquired it, Martira observed that social media was not a marketing panacea: "Just because your competition's using it, or your mom saw it on the news, doesn't mean it'll be an effective tool for you."

PR expert Steve Rubel outlined approaches to content marketing in collaboration with media outlets, from "advertorial" syndication to more fully embedded presentations (which he personally was loathe to describe as "native advertising"). Later in the day, Interactive One creative director Gordon Hurd echoed this point, encouraging publishers to "crack open [their] books," extracting and retooling content for features.

During a mid-afternoon session on "tuning in to consumers," Bookish CEO Ardy Khazaei offered something of a status report on the fledging discoverability resource, suggesting that "as users come back to our site, they tend to use recommendations more and more," yet it's the site's editorial features that holds their attention for longer stretches of time. He also observed that they'd seen a strongly defined user segment of "women interested in literary fiction," many of whom described themeselves as "avid readers" consuming more than 16 books a year. "Bookish is definitely about expert curation," Khazaei declared, but he expects it will become "increasingly personalized" over time, as even the algorithms become influenced by user interests. "The technology can only go far," he concluded. "You're going to need human input." --Ron Hogan


Image of the Day: Bookstore Managers' Book Club

The managers' book club at Third Place Books, which has stores in Lake Forest Park and Ravenna, Wash., met earlier this month to discuss Decisive by Chip Heath and Dan Heath (Crown), part of a program whereby the store picks one to three books a year that are relevant to the business and invites store managers, supervisors, the restaurant manager and the director of the nonprofit community group to read the title and join the discussion. Books are divided into three sections; the book club meets three times to focus on each section separately. Managing partner Robert Sindelar said he got the idea at Winter Institute several years ago, possibly from Roxanne Coady of R.J. Julia, Madison, Conn., and praised the club for being helpful in "team building, communication and implementing new work habits."

Here (left to right, back row): supervisor Greg Kindall; Constance Perenyi, executive director of Friends of Third Place Commons; book club coordinator Emily Adams; assistant manager Eric McDaniel; Michael Coy, manager of the Ravenna store; (front row) managing partner Robert Sindelar; kids' camp coordinator Jessica Baloun; children's book buyer Judy Hobbs; and supervisor Steve Winter. Not pictured but in the club: author events manager Wendy Manning; café manager Gabriel Ellenberg; Espresso Book Machine manager Vladimir Verano; and children's section supervisor Rene Holderman.

On the Road with Penguin's Book Truck and Pushcart

The Penguin Book Truck and Pushcart, stocked with books from all of Penguin Group's imprints, are hitting the road this summer, heading for book-related events, festivals and more. Inspired by the design of the classic New York City hot dog cart, the Penguin pushcart will be transported by the truck to various locations, including bookstores, parks, beaches, sidewalks in shopping districts, summer theaters and green markets. The truck is making its debut at BEA this week.

BEA: Panel on Writing and the Digital Revolution

For a break from BEA and to help a good cause, consider attending a panel on Writing and the Digital Revolution, to be held this evening, May 29, 6-8 p.m., at P.S. 187 (Cabrini Terrace and 187th St. in Washington Heights in upper Manhattan).

Panelists are Jim Dwyer, author and New York Times columnist; Meena Alexander, poet, memoirist, novelist, critic and professor of English and creative writing at Hunter College and Graduate Center; Brenda Copeland, executive editor at St. Martin's Press; Dorian Karchmar, literary agent at William Morris Endeavor; Veronica Liu, founder of WordUp Community Bookstore and Washington Heights Free Radio and an editor at Seven Stories Press; Clive Priddle, publisher of PublicAffairs Books; and Terry Teachout, drama critic for the Wall Street Journal and author. The moderator is Alane Salierno Mason, executive editor at Norton and founder of Words without Borders.

Donations will go to literacy programs at P.S. 187 in district six, where many students are from homes in which English is not the first language.

Borders Gift Cards: Alternative Uses

Citing last week's ruling by a federal judge in Manhattan that holders of Borders gift cards are owed nothing, the Washington Post offered 10 helpful suggestions for what those worthless cards might be used for. Three of our favorites:

5. Recycle them into colorful Kindle covers.
9. Save them to prove your faith in the ultimate resurrection of major bookstore chains.
10. The perfect gift for people you don't like.

Book Trailer of the Day: Apology

Apology by Jon Pineda (Milkweed Editions), winner of the Milkweed National Fiction Award. The trailer was directed by Rob Butler, Emmy-nominated film editor for Deadliest Catch; the music and score was done by Andy Kubiszewski, who does music for the cable show Storage Wars New York and has played drums with Nine Inch Nails and Stabbing Westward.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Temple Grandin on Katie

Tomorrow on America in the Morning with Jim Bohannon: Paul Samuel Dolman, author of Hitchhiking with Larry David: An Accidental Tourist's Summer of Self-Discovery in Martha's Vineyard (Gotham, $22.50, 9781592408269).


Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Rae Armantrout, author of Just Saying (Wesleyan University Press, $22.95, 9780819572998). As the show put it: "Rae Armantrout's poems apprehend the world as a place charged by the nonexistent supernatural. For her, the eerie thing is that ghosts don't exist. She reads selections from her new collection, Just Saying, and elucidates her interest in the spectral and exuberant qualities of life."


Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Glen Hubbard and Tim Kane, authors of Balance: The Economics of Great Powers from Ancient Rome to Modern America (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781476700250).


Tomorrow on Katie: Temple Grandin, co-author of The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780547636450).


Tomorrow on a repeat of the View: Sherri Shepherd, author of Plan D: How to Lose Weight and Beat Diabetes (Even If You Don't Have It) (It Books, $25.99, 9780062226242).


Tomorrow on Fox Radio's Kilmeade & Friends: Nathaniel Philbrick, author of Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution (Viking, $32.95, 9780670025442).


Tomorrow on WNYC's Here's the Thing with Alec Baldwin: Ken Robinson, co-author of Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life (Viking, $27.95, 9780670022380).


Tomorrow on a repeat of Tavis Smiley: Paul Anka, author of My Way: An Autobiography (St. Martin's Press, $29.99, 9780312381042).


Tomorrow night on a repeat of the Daily Show: Phil Jackson, co-author of Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success (Penguin Press, $27.95, 9781594205118).

Books & Authors

Awards: Sami Rohr Prizes; Kafka Prize

Francesca Segal has won the $100,000 2013 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature in fiction for her debut novel, The Innocents (Voice/Hyperion), and Ben Lerner, author of Leaving the Atocha Station (Coffee House Press), is the 2013 runner-up and recipient of the $25,000 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature Choice Award. Sponsored by the Jewish Book Council, the prize is the largest monetary award of its kind given to writers of exceptional talent and promise in their early career.

Finalists were:

  • Shani Boianjiu for The People of Forever Are Not Afraid (Hogarth/Crown)
  • Stuart Nadler for The Book of Life (Reagan Arthur/Back Bay Books)
  • Asaf Schurr for Motti, translated by Todd Hasak Lowy (Dalkey Archive Press)

The awards will be presented tomorrow at a gala buffet dinner at the Center for Jewish History in New York City.


Israeli author Amos Oz won the annual $10,000 Franz Kafka Prize, awarded by the Franz Kafka Society in Prague to authors whose works "appeal to readers regardless of their origin, nationality and culture." NPR noted that the society said Oz has agreed to travel to Prague with his wife for an October ceremony to receive the award.

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Jewelweed: A Novel by David Rhodes (Milkweed Editions, $26, 9781571311009). "Can people really start over? Jewelweed proves that many can in spite of lost loves, war, and imprisonment. Blake Bookchester has just been paroled from a system that promotes postmodern slavery and a war on minorities and the poor. He returns to his hometown, Words, Wisconsin, where he will try to reconcile with his past and forge a new future. Other people who form this small community will grab your heart and not let go. Jewelweed, a plant that looks like little pieces of jewelry strung together on heavy green thread, is an apt description of the people of Words, all tied together and realizing the importance of community to their individual lives. You will not want to miss a word of Rhodes' magical, soul-felt novel." --Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books & Hobbies, Oscoda, Mich.

The Kings and Queens of Roam: A Novel by Daniel Wallace (Touchstone, $24, 9781476703978). "Wallace is a craftsman of the modern fairy tale, and The Kings and Queens of Roam does not disappoint. The story follows the insular lives of two sisters--one blind and beautiful, the other able to see, but ugly--as they press against the edges of their small town. When they are orphaned, the sisters must rely on each other to survive, but their faults begin to overshadow their virtues as they grow older. As he did in Big Fish and Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician, Wallace continues to explore the nature of truth, revealing anew that it is not what is seen but what is believed." --Adie Smith, Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, Miss.

Seating Arrangements: A Novel by Maggie Shipstead (Vintage, $15, 9780307743954). "This is the kind of character-driven, thoroughly enjoyable read I love! It easily compares to the family drama in J. Courtney Sullivan's Maine and the humor in Richard Russo's That Old Cape Magic. Just add lots of gin and tonics, men in pants with whales on them, and characters with names like Biddy, Fee, and Oatsie, and you've got the irresistible Seating Arrangements!" --Claire Benedict, Bear Pond Books of Montpelier, Montpelier, Vt.

For Teen Readers
Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan (Philomel, $18.99, 9780399257605). "Invisibility is about a teenager who is invisible. As fantastic as this occurrence might be in reality, it is also a universal metaphor for the teen experience: feeling like no one 'hears' you or 'sees' you, and trying to see yourself and figure out how to present yourself to the world. And then there is the jubilation of meeting someone who finally does see you for who you really are. When Elizabeth meets Stephen, she has no idea that he's invisible, because she can see him. This amazing story is a poignant reminder that what we see isn't always seen by others." --Sara Hines, Eight Cousins, Falmouth, Mass.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Brahmin: Anthony C. Winkler

photo: Collin E. Reid

Anthony C. Winkler was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1942. After being expelled from Cornwall College for refusing to submit to corporal punishment (which entailed being beaten with a cane), he eventually made his way to California, where he attended Citrus College and California State University, earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. His first published novel, The Painted Canoe, was followed by The Lunatic, The Great Yacht Race, The Duppy, Crocodile, Dog War and God Carlos. Trust the Darkness: My Life as a Writer, his autobiography, was published in 2008. His writing credits also include film scripts and plays. His new book, The Family Mansion, was published by Akashic Books on May 7, 2013. He lives in Atlanta, Ga., with his wife.

On your nightstand now:

I usually have three or four books that I am reading at the same time, jumping from one to the other as I get bored. Here are the titles I'm reading at the moment: Standing Tall: Affirmations of the Jamaican Male, 24 Self-Portraits, collected and edited by Edna Brodher. This is an ethnography and it is one of the first studies to refute the stereotype of the Jamaican male as a worthless philanderer. The Sweet Hell Inside: A Family History by Edward Ball--this book explores the anguish of a Southern family that discovers the descendants of slaves and slave-owners in the same family, who did not know each other until the author dug up the connections. It provides the missing links in complex relationships. Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium by Carl Sagan is a collection of thoughtful essays by one of the best modern thinkers. I'm also rereading Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.

Favorite book when you were a child:

I usually say that Black Beauty by Anna Sewell was my childhood favorite, but I think I did that because it's the first and only book I ever won in an athletic contest. I took second place in an intramural obstacle race and got Black Beauty as my prize. The first-place winner had been given a penknife for his victory and offered to swap me, which I quickly agreed to do. I don't believe I ever read that book completely, and I forgot what happened to the penknife, but it soon disappeared.

Your top five authors:

My favorite authors are Chaucer (The Canterbury Tales made me laugh out loud), Edmund Spenser (his Faerie Queene affected me like good marijuana used to), Beryl Markham (her West with the Night is beyond brilliant and gives us reason to love journeyman prose again), Charles Dickens, whose Pickwick Papers I found utterly hilarious. My favorite modern poets are Charles Bukowski and Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Book you've faked reading:

None that I can remember.

Book you're an evangelist for:

West with the Night by Beryl Markham.This autobiography of a childhood spent in the highlands of Kenya, Africa, among the Masai tribes ranks with any memoir ever written. Truly a wonderful piece of work.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Maybe a Playboy magazine.

Book that changed your life:

The Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant, who wrote, "Hume woke me from my dogmatic slumbers."

Favorite line from a book:

"I know animals more gallant than the warthog, but none more courageous. He is the peasant of the plains--the drab and dowdy digger in the earth. He is the uncomely but intrepid defender of family, home, and bourgeois convention, and he will fight anything of any size that intrudes upon his smug existence." --From West with the Night by Beryl Markham

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

A Passage to India by E.M. Forster.

Book Review

Children's Review: The Enduring Ark

The Enduring Ark by Gita Wolf, illus. by Joydeb Chitrakar (Tara Books, dist. by PGW, $21.95 foldout hardcover with slipcase, 34p., ages 6-up, 9789380340180, May 14, 2013)

This beautifully designed and intelligently produced retelling of the flood expands the bounds of bookmaking. Illustrated by Joydeb Chitrakar (Tsunami) in the Bengali Patua style of scroll painting, the story of Noah and the flood literally folds out like a giant mural between hard covers, and tucks snugly into an attractive slipcase. The slipcase depicts the ark floating safely on a blue watery background, while the book's covers show the animals sheltered inside the ark against a red backdrop.

Each "page" is 6"x9.4" and can be read like a book by turning its accordion folds. But the book's true genius comes to light when it's laid out end to end. Each individual scene connects to the larger story of the flooding of the world, and the receding of the waters to begin a new life. The story opens (literally) with the eye of God, His lower lid becomes the seas, His upper lid the rays of the sun. Gita Wolf, publisher of Tara Books and a writer with the voice of a true storyteller (Do!), acknowledges the long history of flood stories. "Ancient stories remember an age when a huge flood destroyed the earth.... You may have heard this story before, but great tales deserve to be repeated--and so let me tell it here again, in my way."

She characterizes Noah as "a mindful man" and the ark as "a safe haven to see them through." Chitrakar portrays Noah and his wife, Na'mah, building the ark together, as fish float by on a calm river. But, in a perfectly engineered shift, as soon as the reverse side of the accordion fold begins, with the animals herded aboard the ark, the rain arrives in a gray sheet. As the rain continues for 40 days, the artist shows water sweeping away the trees, people and animals as if they are sleeping comfortably. The dove brings back the olive branch ("an offering of peace, a sign of trust from God"), and the author makes their last act "to set the creatures they had nurtured free."

The form of this retelling of Noah and the ark reflects the earliest versions of the oral tradition in tone, and of visual storytelling in its mural-like sequence of interconnected scenes, akin to Egyptian scrolls and the Bayeux tapestry. The Enduring Ark is a testament to what great bookmaking can be. --Jennifer M. Brown

Shelf Talker: In a feat of bookmaking artistry, Gita Wolf adopts a storyteller's voice to revisit Noah's ark with scenes that unfold--literally--as a Bengali Patua-style scroll illustrated by Joydeb Chitrakar.

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